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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

James Risen
NYT National Security Journalist
KYW 10/12/2014
Stahl: What happens when the demands of national security collide with the public's right to know. That dilemma is at the heart of the case of James Risen, a pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter for "The New York Times." Stahl: Risen was the first to break the story about the NSA's secret wiretapping program that monitored Americans' phone calls without a court warrant. He's been subpoenaed to divulge his confidential sources in a separate federal criminal trial. He appealed the subpoena all the way up to the Supreme Court, but the court turned down his petition. Now, if he doesn't name names, he could go to jail. Will you divulge your source? Risen: No. Stahl: Never? Risen: Never, No. basically, the choice the government's given me is give up everything I believe or go to jail. So, I’m not going to... I’m not going to talk.
James Risen
NYT National Security Journalist
KYW 10/12/2014
Stahl: He (James Risen) says the current standoff with the government began in 2004 over what would become the biggest story of his career, that would win the Pulitzer Prize-- the top-secret warrantless wiretap program run by the national security agency. Risen: It was called "no such agency." and it was this massive part of the intelligence community that almost no one ever wrote about. What they were supposed to do was spy on foreigners, electronic eavesdropping of foreign people overseas. Basically, what I found out about was they had suddenly turned this giant eavesdropping operation at the NSA onto the American people, in secret, and that's what the story was. Stahl: Were they actually listening in or just recording that meta-data? Risen: they were doing both. They had the content and they were getting the meta-data.
James Risen
NYT National Security Journalist
KYW 10/12/2014
Stahl: After 9/11, President Bush authorized the NSA to listen in on Americans suspected of ties with al Qaeda without a judicial warrant, as required by law. Risen: I get these people who start telling me, in the government and elsewhere, "there's this huge secret I can't tell you about." Stahl: Did they say they were upset about it, that it... Risen: Yes. They were tortured by what they knew. But they were frightened at the same time.
Michael Hayden
Former Director of the NSA and Director of the CIA
KYW 10/12/2014
Stahl: He (Michael Hayden) acknowledges the NSA program was "unarguably inconsistent" with the 1978 law prohibiting the agency from eavesdropping on Americans without first obtaining a court warrant. Hayden: it was warrantless, but not unwarranted. It would've been irresponsible for NSA not to have done this in the immediate aftermath of the attacks of 9/11. Stahl: but it was eavesdropping on Americans? That was the story. Hayden: you know, one has to choose words carefully here, all right. We were allowed to intercept international calls. Stahl: Had to be overseas. Hayden: Had to be overseas. And we already had reason to believe that one or both ends of the call were affiliated with al Qaeda. Stahl: Besides, government lawyers assured him that the president's authority as commander-in-chief trumped the 1978 law. in their view, the program was both legal and constitutional, though, he acknowledges, just barely.
Michael Hayden
Former Director of the NSA and Director of the CIA
KYW 10/12/2014
Hayden: Hey, I knew we were playing up against the line. Stahl: So, what you're telling us is that you went into this knowing that if it came out... Hayden: oh, god, yes. Stahl: ...there'd be questions of legality? Hayden: Of course, and appropriateness and abuse. Stahl: That's why you didn't want it to come out? See, that's what Jim Risen says- - you didn't want to be embarrassed. Hayden: Let me... let me turn it, okay? Jim's going to go to jail. Why? Because Jim wants to protect his sources. We're both in the same business- - you and me, Jim and me. You have sources who remain productive only as long as you can protect them from exposure. Exposing our tactics, techniques, procedures, sources, and methods harms us as much as Mr. Risen would be harmed if he were forced in court to expose his source.
James Risen
NYT National Security Journalist
KYW 10/12/2014
Stahl: General Hayden makes the argument that you didn't have the expertise or the knowledge to know the whole picture and to understand the whole picture. And I guess implicit in that argument is, "who... who the hell are you?" Risen: ( laughs ) yeah. Stahl: I’m serious. "who elected you? yeah. Risen: The whole global war on terror has been classified. If we today had only had information that was officially authorized from the U.S. government, we would know virtually nothing about the war on terror.
Jill Abramson
Former Editor of The New York Times
KYW 10/12/2014
Stahl: He (James Risen) was writing a book. And he was going to put several reports in it that his editors had killed, along with the NSA story. Jill Abramson, then the "times'" second in command, says that was a turning point. Jill Abramson: It would be potentially very embarrassing to The Times to have this big story come out in Jim's book, and our readers would feel, why was this not in "The New York Times"? Stahl: So he forced your hand? He did. Abramson: In some ways, he forced our hand. Sure, he did. Stahl: Had you fallen under the sway of the post 9/11 concerns about safety in this country, security? Abramson: I... I think that I had a bit, and I don't think I was alone. I think that the years right after 9/11 were a period when the Washington press corps-- and I put myself very much in that group-- it wasn't our finest hour. It wasn't.
Michael Hayden
Former Director of the NSA and Director of the CIA
KYW 10/12/2014
Stahl: So you would not be pursuing Jim if you had the decision to make? Hayden: Frankly, Lesley, I don't understand the necessity to pursue Jim. Stahl: you're shocking me-- that the former head of the NSA is saying that it's coming down too hard. Hayden: I’m conflicted. I know the damage that is done, and I do. But I also know the free press necessity in a free society. And it actually might be that I think, "no, he's wrong. That was a mistake. That was a terrible thing to do. America will suffer because of that story." But then I have to think about, so how do I redress that? And if the method of redressing that actually harms the broad freedom of the press, that's still wrong. The government needs to be strong enough to keep me safe, but I don't want it so strong that it threatens my liberties.
James Risen
NYT National Security Journalist
KYW 10/12/2014
Risen: We weren't revealing to anybody the fact that the United States listened to terrorist phone calls. Everybody knew that. The terrorists have known that forever. What we were revealing was that the U.S. government was violating its own laws. Stahl: Did you think that the whole program... did you think it was useless? Risen: No, I didn't think it was useless. I thought that if we are going to fight a global war on terror, we should follow the rule of law in the United States. Stahl: Risen remains at "The New York Times," still covering national security and he's written a new book. he could be called to testify about his confidential sources as early as January.
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